AKIPRESS.COM - World Bank approved a $100 million loan to support the Ulaanbaatar Sustainable Urban Transport Project, which will develop a comprehensive framework for sustainable urban mobility for Mongolia’s capital, and will reduce congestion, improve road safety, and address climate resilience on selected transport corridors.
In Ulaanbaatar, where close to 50 percent of the country’s population resides, travel demand has been increasing due to rapid urbanization. The city’s current 1,100-km-long street network is sparse and disconnected, while traffic management and road safety facilities are insufficient, causing delays, traffic accidents, and congestion. Poor public transport services and vulnerability to natural hazards such as flooding are affecting residents’ livelihoods and disproportionately hurting vulnerable and low-income populations. At the same time, lack of evidence-based planning and management, and weak institutional capacity have hampered efficient allocation of limited financial resources.
The project will finance street network infrastructure for selected transport corridors as well as better integrated public transport systems. This includes road reconfiguration, rehabilitation, and construction on selected priority corridors, upgrading bus management systems and improvements of bus stops, and installation of intelligent transport systems and smart parking management systems across the city. The project will also support strategic studies and capacity building activities to help the municipality build effective institutions for transport planning and management.
“Improving traffic conditions in Ulaanbaatar has become a top priority for the municipality and the Mongolian government, and the World Bank is pleased to be providing support in this area through its expertise and financial resources,” said Andrei Mikhnev, World Bank Country Manager for Mongolia. “The project is designed to benefit all road users including vulnerable users such as pedestrians in Ulaanbaatar through reduced traffic congestion, improved road safety, and less disruptions from natural hazards.”
“Addressing Ulaanbaatar’s urban transport issues requires a comprehensive and long-term approach to provide urban mobility for all users in a sustainable way,” said Yang Chen, World Bank Senior Transport Specialist. “This project will build the foundation for the comprehensive Ulaanbaatar Sustainable Urban Transport program, which was conceptualized based on the results of analytical work and technical assistance done by the World Bank and the municipality over the past six years.”
The Municipality of Ulaanbaatar will be responsible for the overall project implementation and oversight of the project. It is the first project in Mongolia to be fully financed by the World Bank Group’s International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD).